Spanish GP 1969

Spanish GP, 1969

With Madrid having built the Jarama circuit, the ever-competitive Catalans decided to revive the old Montjuich Park track in Barcelona, which had been used in the early 1930s before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and so the Spanish federation was forced to alternate the Grand Prix between Madrid and Barcelona. Parts of the circuit had been resurfaced and barriers built along the perimeter to bring it up to Grand Prix standard.

In the two month break between the South African GP the F1 teams had raced twice - the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch and International Trophy at Silverstone. Jackie Stewart had won the first for Ken Tyrrell's Matra International while the second had gone to Jack Brabham, who was reveling in his new Cosworth engines. Lucien Bianchi, who had become a regular F1 racer with the Cooper-BRM team the previous season, had been killed testing an Alfa Romeo sportscar at Le Mans.

The entry for the race in Barcelona was as expected with Pedro Rodriguez lining up for Reg Parnell Racing, Ferrari fielding only one car (Chris Amon) and Piers Courage making his first appearance in a World Championship event in a Frank Williams Brabham. Lotus (Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt), Brabham (Brabham and Jacky Ickx), McLaren (Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme), Matra (Stewart and Jean-Pierre Beltoise) and BRM (John Surtees and Jack Oliver) were unchanged with Jo Siffert racing as usual in his Walker-Durlacher Lotus.

Rindt set the pace in qualifying and took pole position ahead of Amon and Hill. Stewart and Brabham shared the second row with Siffert, Ickx and Hulme on row three.

At the start Rindt led the field away and quickly built up a lead over Amon, while Hill moved to third ahead of Siffert. On the ninth lap Hill's rear wing failed as the Lotus crested the rise after the pits. He crashed heavily but emerged uninjured. Eleven laps later the same thing happened to Rindt. The leader crashed into Hill's abandoned car and overturned. The Austrian was fortunate to emerge with only a few cuts and bruises and a broken nose. The crash left Amon in a commanding lead over Siffert, although he disappeared on lap 31 with an engine failure, leaving Stewart in second place, over half a minute behind Amon. Brabham was third with Ickx fifth. On lap 52 Brabham's race ended with an engine failure and five laps later Amon's Ferrari V12 seized. This left Stewart in the lead with Ickx trailing him, although the Belgian's rear wing fell apart on lap 64 and he dropped to third while a new one was fitted, leaving McLaren to take second. In the closing laps Ickx suffered rear suspension failure (probably due to the downforce from the rear wing) and he retired, leaving Beltoise to finish third.

Jackie Stewart Matra-Cosworth MS80 90 2h16m53.990s  
Bruce McLaren McLaren-Cosworth M7C 88  13 
Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra-Cosworth MS80 87  12 
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M7A 87  
14 John Surtees BRM P138 84  
6r Jacky Ickx Brabham-Cosworth BT26A 83 Suspension 
Pedro Rodriguez BRM P126 73 Engine 14 
15 Chris Amon Ferrari 312 56 Engine 
Jack Brabham Brabham-Cosworth BT26A 51 Engine 
10 Jo Siffert Lotus-Cosworth 49B 30 Engine 
Jochen Rindt Lotus-Cosworth 49B 19 Accident 
11 Piers Courage Brabham-Cosworth BT26A 18 Engine 11 
Graham Hill Lotus-Cosworth 49B Accident 
12 Jackie Oliver BRM P133 Mechanical 10